Bayern Munich picked up the full three points against VFB Stuttgart after an exhaustive day in the office for the players. Manuel Neuer had two brilliant moments and the team had a dash of luck to save them from a draw in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Full credit to Stuttgart that wore Bayern out with their work rate, tenacity and explosive counterattacks. The home side could have gone on to equalize and even win the game had they been more clinical with their chances. In the end, a little luck and a huge Manuel Neuer helped Bayern grind out a win. Here are the observations:
Kingsley Coman is Bayern’s best winger so far this season
Ever since the confirmation of Leroy Sane’s move to Bayern Munich, Coman’s been a different player. The competition with Serge Gnabry, Sane, and Douglas Costa has been working wonders for Coman.
His movement, passing, crossing and finishing have all seen significant improvement. This improvement coupled with his wonderful dribbling ability has made him Bayern’s most lethal winger.
Against Stuttgart, Coman made a team high four key passes, dribbling out of tight pockets and creating space for himself and his teammates multiple times. His Franck Ribery-esque equalizer and the setup for Robert Lewandowski’s rocket came as a result of Coman’s improved effectiveness on the ball.
Coman’s five chances created, five duels won out of seven and 89 percent pass-success-rate further demonstrate the increase in his efficiency with the ball. The rest of the Bayern wingers have their work cut out for them if they want more minutes on the pitch, especially in the bigger games.
Game load and fatigue, a recurring and annoying theme this season
For the n’th time this season, Bayern players quickly ran out of gas and were looking tired long before the final whistle. A resurgent and rapid Stuttgart side almost stole the game away in the latter half of the final 45 minutes.
Similar to the game against Werder Bremen, Bayern started off with some silky stretches of play but the intensity slowly declined past the 40th minute as different players started to show tiredness and the unit as a whole lost some of its pace and sharpness.
After the hour mark and despite multiple substitutions, Bayern’s intensity had dropped off and the team gave away loads of chances for Stuttgart to wrest at least a point from Bayern’s grasp.
The post-coronavirus season has been one of most load intensive ones with little-to-no room for a break and its effect is visible in almost every single game. With the finish line months away, Hansi Flick and co will need to come up with creative solutions and even tweak the play style even if they have to.
Bayern and injuries are inseparable
If there is someone that would be happy about Bayern’s tight schedule, it’s the injury gods.
Canadian Alphonso Davies has been out since last month and is still a month away from his return. The injury to the drill sergeant Joshua Kimmich has clearly affected Bayern’s defensive stability. Bayern haven’t been the same since his injury. The much-coveted backup RB signing is out of commission too due to injury.
At the current rate, Bayern may even surpass Liverpool’s current injury numbers before the end of the year.
Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, Corentin Tolisso and Lucas Hernandez (4!) all picked up slight knocks today. Despite having four wingers, glassman Coman and recent ACL returnee Leroy Sané are both constant injury risks.
The high-pressing play under Hansi Flick, a packed schedule, fatigue and poor injury luck are a highly potent mix for another seasonal injury crisis in Bavaria. At this rate the fans will soon have their fingers crossed into knots every time Bayern players step onto the pitch.